December, 1996

Dear Friends and Family,

First we want to extend a heartfelt wish to all of you for a happy and safe Christmas. This time of year is such a special time for Carrie, me, and the kids as we strive to look past the hype and celebrate the season for what it truly means: a celebration of the birth of Christ. We hope that you and your families can join us in this celebration.

This year has been another crazy, busy, stressful, and wonderful year for the Grose family.

Carrie has been busy keeping up with the kids. She continues to be the ideal mother and wife. On the sports side, she played volleyball and basketball for a church league. She also works out each day and still finds energy to keep up with Alex and Stephanie. Carrie watches a little boy one day a week (yes, that is three small children on Wednesdays) and works in a daycare. Rounding out her talents, she takes care of the house, the bills, and everything else including me. She is quite a whirlwind.

Alex will turn five in February. The boy is a wondrous soul. His handsome looks reflect the beauty inside of him. He can be loud -- OK, very loud -- and rambunctious only because he has an excitement for EVERYTHING. Sometimes I envy that but we are so happy he has it in him. Most of the time, he is what every parent dreams of: caring, loving, and happy. His sister is his best friend and out of nowhere he will comment "Daddy, I love you" or "Mommy, you're pretty." In short, he's our grace.

Stephanie is a small version of Carrie. She is Miss Strong Attitude with a wasp nest of golden curls. This is one girl that Daddy will never have to worry about being taken advantage of. She is fun-loving and affectionate, when SHE wants to be. She has no qualms about body slamming another child twice her size if deserved. That forceful personality is hidden by an angel's exterior. She is simply beautiful and has an apparent affection for her Grandma.

As for me, I am finishing up my last year at the University of Washington. I graduate and get my commission in June. I was put in charge of the entire Marine contingent at the NROTC so have to be the no-nonsense sergeant; not always the most popular billet but it is my job to ensure only those that should receive commissions actually do. Additionally, I am taking a full load in Technical Communications and am involved with many projects outside of class involving web page development. I have written articles for local papers and wrote/produced a large newsletter for my department. On top of all of this, I work as a night security guard for the University stadium which takes up about four nights per week. I try to make the time with Carrie and the kids count because, as you can see, I am not home as much as I would like. I get up at 5:00 AM to work out and do not get to bed until after midnight.

It looks like I will be commissioned on June 13th and I extend an invitation to each one of you to come and join me. Carrie and I have decided to take advantage of the gathering of family to renew our vows. We never actually had a big wedding so we thought this would be the perfect opportunity. We hope that you will honor us with your attendance and ask that you let us know if you will be able to come as soon as possible. The planning has already started.

With that bit of news, we wish you happy holidays and a thank you for all of your support over the last year. With schedules like ours, a strong family and friend base is not only helpful, but absolutely necessary. We thank you and may God bless you and your families.

Jason, Carrie, Alex, Stephanie, and Sidney the cat